In what ways does Cracking India reflect the experiences of British Colonial rule in South East Asia?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most profound elements that comes out of Sidhwa's novel is the idea that there are different challenges in a postcolonial setting just as there are in a colonial one.  Sidhwa's work really develops the postcolonial notion of how "the other" is defined in a world after colonial rule.  What is brought out in India is experienced in all postcolonial nations.  The idea of how life is defined in a setting after colonial rule becomes something that is an issue for nations in South East Asia and other nations.  In Sidhwa's case, she argues that the political expediency in trying to extricate themselves from India ended up causing much in way of death and destruction.  The political machinations of both colonial leaders and indigenous ones failed to account for the implications of political decisions experienced by the population.  The seemingly "rational and reasonable" approach advocated by the British in Partitioning failed to account how intense such a decision would be and how much upheaval would result as a consequence of it. In this Sidhwa's work argues that the experience of postcolonial life is a vastly different one than colonial life with different challenges in defining consciousness and being in the world.


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